mt9b00979_si_001.pdf (1.01 MB)

Pulsed Electrical Stimulation Enhances Body Fluid Transport for Collagen Biomineralization

Download (1.01 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 21.01.2020, 17:35 by Doyoon Kim, Byeongdu Lee, Brittany P. Marshall, Eunyoung Jang, Stavros Thomopoulos, Young-Shin Jun
Mechanical loads from physiologic activities such as walking and running generate bioelectricity in bones. By mimicking bioelectricity, external electrical stimulations have also been used therapeutically to stimulate bone-forming cells and, thus, to promote bone regeneration. However, little is known about the physicochemical mechanism(s) by which electrical stimulations drives calcium phosphate mineralization of collagen. Here, we showed that, during in vitro collagen mineralization in the absence of cells, application of pulsed electrical stimulation significantly enhanced the transport of ionic body fluid components through a micrometer-scale channel (∼100–200 μm gap space between the inner surfaces of tube-like collagen scaffolds and a cathode placed inside the collagen scaffolds). The enhanced transport of ionic precursors increased diffusion of the charged precursors from the channel to the inner collagen surface, where bone mineralization was otherwise restricted. The results indicate that pulsed electrical signals can locally accelerate the nucleation of calcium phosphate nanocrystals in or on collagen, allowing us to better control the spatial distribution of the nanocrystals at the microscale. The findings from this study provide insights into the utilization of electrical stimulation for applications such as facilitating bone-fracture healing and designing better bone-specific biomaterials.